Tony Romo thinks the Cowboys are 'close'

Bob Levey

Cowboys QB Tony Romo signed a contract with $55 million guaranteed Friday, and he spoke about how close the Cowboys are to bringing a championship back to Dallas.

If nothing else, quarterback Tony Romo's contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys puts a dent in the emerging concept that the highest-paid quarterbacks are the ones who have won in the playoffs.

Baltimore's Joe Flacco signed a six-year, $120 million contract with $52 million guaranteed. Romo's deal has $55 million of guaranteed money wrapped into a six-year, $108 million contract.

Flacco has the ring, but Romo has the stats. Imagine what Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who has a ring, an MVP and far better statistics than either recently signed passer, will get.

Ringless Romo has one playoff win, but he feels that's something that will change starting in 2013.

He told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Friday, via NFL.com:

We haven't had the type of success that we have all wanted the last few years, but I do know that we are on the verge of doing that. I have been around good teams and bad teams and our team is about to take that next step with a lot of things that are taking shape around Valley Ranch. Today just further instills that and I am excited about our team and the direction we are headed.

On one hand, teams have not won championships recently without outstanding quarterback play. Romo is fourth among active quarterbacks in career passer rating at 95.6. Rodgers is first at 104.9 with Tom Brady (96.6) and Peyton Manning (95.7) second and third, respectively. Rodgers is the only active quarterback with a Super Bowl ring who has not signed a contract with at least $30 million guaranteed, but that will soon change.

Of the big money quarterbacks, Romo has the worst playoff reputation. His rating in four playoff games drops off to 80.8 and bottoms out at a dismal 65.4 in two divisional round losses.

At the same time though, the Cowboys defense has finished in the middle of the pack or worse in points allowed since 2010. In that time, Romo has thrown for 10,692 yards and 70 touchdowns in 38 starts. With emerging talent Dez Bryant looking to become one of the top-producing receivers in the game, Romo could improve on his career-high 4,903 yards from 2012.

In his mind, they are a team on the verge. The question in Dallas is how much the rest of the team believes that.

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